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STREAMLINE YOUR STUFF: How to store, tidy your stuff

What is the best way to store your stuff? This discussion has come to the forefront over the last few weeks with the popularity of the new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It seems as though literally everyone is watching.

It’s been a long time since there has been any type of organizing show on television. It’s so great to see a renewed interest in tidying or organizing, or whatever you want to call it. If you’ve watched the series or read the book, you know that Kondo has a method that she teaches and she’s very particular about how you fold your clothes.

As I watch the show, I keep thinking about how I would take things one step further.

I am a great believer in having the right storage solutions and in adjusting how you store your belongings to suit your organizing style. In the most simplified form, we have either a visual or non-visual preference and it’s important to pay attention to this when you are tidying up. I am also aware of the limited amount of time that most of us have so I want you to have solutions that are quick and easy to maintain.

I recently met with a client who has lots of closet space but was storing the bulk of her clothing in bins stacked everywhere and stored under the bed. I suggested to her that she consider hanging as many of her clothes as possible and she recently emailed me to say it’s really working and she wishes she had met me sooner. That’s pretty cool.

I have to say that hanging, instead of folding, is my preference. It’s quick and easy and you can see everything you have. Consider changing the design of your closets to give you more hanging space. But, if you have the time and inclination to fold your clothing and arrange everything standing on end in your drawers as Kondo teaches, then go for it. Too bad I didn’t know that type of folding was going to be a big thing. We were doing it years ago as a way to help people see what they have — and it helps you to fit a lot more into a drawer, too. Go figure!

If you have open shelving and you will never keep your things folded or stacked perfectly, then buy some bins to fit the shelves. Label them and either fold or simply toss like items into the bin.

Adding storage shelving and drawer units to a closet, pantry or storage room can actually be life changing. I often turn to the Eket or Nordli collections at Ikea as you can build different configurations to fit your space. I am also loving the Galant cabinets, if shelving works for you. Be warned, long open shelves, unless they are for books, require more upkeep than drawers. Unless you purchase bins that fit nicely, sort and label, and then store on the shelves.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you want your home to have better energy and feel tidier and more organized, get stuff off the floor. Instead of piling and stacking bins and boxes in your garage, buy some good quality resin shelving units and arrange your bins and boxes. You might even consider labelling the shelves so that things go back where they belong. Trust me, it will be much easier to find what you need when you’re in a rush.

Happy tidying!

Jane Veldhoven owns Get Organized by Design in Halifax and loves working with busy people to help them de-clutter, redesign, and redecorate their spaces, move to a new home, or renovate their existing home.

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